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#312434 - 01/04/07 04:17 PM How valid are KNIFE HAND strikes???
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
How valid are KNIFE HAND strikes??? In a lot of present practiced system you don't see them trained. In our 1st level of tourney sparring you don't see them much. In the barefisted stuff they reappear, at the third level combo training they disappear; they come back at the 4th level because we are clinching and any grab to neck or side of head can and is a knife hand strike 1st then a grab, if you can. 5th level its there bc of same reason.

I've noticed that from every system I've trained in from Escrima, Kali, Silat, Kuntoua, Pankartian, N. African, TKD, Chanu-fa, Karate, Jujitsu, to the Fairbanks Combat system teach the use of this hand formation.

Why is it not trained now? Is it bc of Gloves? Range? Ineffectiveness? No faith in the technique.

Personally within its range mines are as effective as right/left hooks for others, same clothes line or smashing effect.

Why have we lost faith in this strike? Or have we?
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#312435 - 01/04/07 04:29 PM Re: How valid are KNIFE HAND strikes??? [Re: Neko456]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Personally, I don't like them, never used them. IMHO, they have poor structural integrity (due to the elongated fingers) compared to regular punching or hammerfists. I would use a heel palm over a knife hand.
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#312436 - 01/04/07 04:38 PM Re: How valid are KNIFE HAND strikes??? [Re: Neko456]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Tensho kata eveals some nice things to do with the knifehand,which in my opinion is still very effective and valid for self defense. Never stopped training them myself.
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#312437 - 01/04/07 04:42 PM Re: How valid are KNIFE HAND strikes??? [Re: Neko456]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Neko

Personal opinion???

I'd say that you hit the nail on the head when you said "tournys."

Lots of stuff that you can't do in tournaments that should be practiced--preferably on a heavy bag.

Tournaments "can" be an insidious thing.

Could always be mistaken of course--and I'm speaking just for me.
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#312438 - 01/04/07 04:57 PM Re: How valid are KNIFE HAND strikes??? [Re: Neko456]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
what is the criteria for 'valid'?

is it valid to hit in the neck? is it valid to use closed fist on hard targets?

somewhere out there, there is someone who's trained knife hand strikes their whole life and have conditioned their hands accordingly...if I'm afraid of being hit by them, then they are valid.

there is one story I heard recently of a man conditioning his knife hand strikes so intensely and for so many years, his fingers were all the same length. probably not true...but if it is true...

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#312439 - 01/04/07 05:23 PM Re: How valid are KNIFE HAND strikes??? [Re: MattJ]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
A knife-hand (shuto-uchi in karate) never uses the fingers - that would be just plain dangerous to the user. The correct point of impact is the outside edge (little-finger side) of the palm.

The shuto can be a very effective strike when used appropriately. The reason you rarely, if ever, see them used in competition is the increased risk of jabbing an eye.

And grabbing the head or neck isn't always the same as a shuto. A grab usually follows a strait line from your hand to the head. A shuto, whether palm-up or palm-down, follows a curved path.

owari

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#312440 - 01/04/07 05:38 PM Re: How valid are KNIFE HAND strikes??? [Re: hedkikr]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Personally the knife hand motion is a typical example of 'modern' karate showing its lack of utility.

A couple of actual uses are along the lines of -

1. ox jar, seiriuto (sorry been a long time since I wrote that one), ie using the muscle of the hand, blast it out into an arm, down onto a collar bone, across the temple etc etc, very effective strike.

2. forearm chop, strike it into the neck at an angle, use it as a wedge to blast an arm out of the way when wrestling, use it as a big deflection from a hands forward position etc etc.

The shuto is a core karate technique and has loads of use IMO, of course it is a strike and as such is part of a combination.

The utility is lost if it is not conditined a little, for most people anyhow.

Just some ideas we work, not a complete overview of the technique by any means.
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#312441 - 01/04/07 05:40 PM Re: How valid are KNIFE HAND strikes??? [Re: hedkikr]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Never used them although I imagine they could be quite effective in certain situations. Particularly for striking the neck, they are more structurally suited to this than a hammer-fist. Knife hand to the base of the skull from a low MT-style clinch or a shoulder-lock is one of the techniques I was taught once. Make sure you impact with the side of your palm and not your fingers. If you train them on a heavy bag you can see that they're not as bad as they seem.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (01/04/07 05:41 PM)
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#312442 - 01/04/07 09:53 PM Re: How valid are KNIFE HAND strikes??? [Re: Neko456]
koji112091 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 77
Loc: texas
Hi
knife-hand strikes are very steriotyped.
The avrage person hears somebody say karate and they atuomaticaly think of knife-hand strike ,but thay usaly call them karate chops.

What i think about them is that they are dangerious to your oponent but they are easy to block.
i know that if you break there collar bone they wont fight back.
unless there super human
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#312443 - 01/04/07 10:24 PM Re: How valid are KNIFE HAND strikes??? [Re: Neko456]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
In many cases, the difference between a taisho and a shuto is fifteen degrees, sometimes less. It is nearly the same striking surface, depending on your timing and angle. The fingers don't come into it except, as with a palmheel, to get them out of the way and then deploy after contact. A palmheel to the face should be followed by a clawing to the face, a knifehand block should transition to a grab. A knifehand fits into spots a hammerfist will not (if we're keeping our chins down), and it allows for a grab and followup. It it not too useful in gloved sparring events. It's a fighting technique.

That said, I would love for someone to explain the validity of a spearhand. My middle finger is a half inch longer than the index and ring, and I do not trust it as a striking weapon even to soft tissue. It would make more sense to use my second knuckles. In my kata, I always change the angle to make it a knifehand, rigdehand, a tigerclaw (probably not a universal term--like a ridgehand but with the thumb cocked to grab, usually to the throat), or a grab. I just cannot see how I can use it as an impact weapon and still be able to type.

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